With Lake Brownwood full from heavy rains earlier this month, Brownwood City Council members will consider whether to hit the “stop” button on the proposed Supplemental Water Treatment Plant when they meet Tuesday.

Council members will be asked to decide whether to formally withdraw from a commitment to a Texas Water Development Board loan for $8.56 million to build the plant, or whether to continue forward and close on the loan, according to the agenda for the 9 a.m. meeting.

A Supplemental Water Treatment Plant, if built, would treat effluent water from the city’s Waste Water Treatment Plant to state drinking standards.

City staff and council members began discussing the project in 2011 as a way to ease the demands on Lake Brownwood, which at the time was at a significantly reduced level from the drought.

The Waste Water treatment plant releases 2 million to 2.5 million gallons of effluent water per day into the South Willis Creek, so the reuse of some of that water would go a long way in helping provide potable water, council members were told in 2011. 

The reuse plant was projected to treat 1.5 million gallons of water a day, council members were told.

According to an agenda item briefing sheet for Tuesday’s council meeting:

In April 2012, council members authorized city staff to apply to the Texas Water Development Board for a $12 million loan to fund the costs of improvements to the existing Waste Water Treatment Plant and construction of a new Supplemental Water Treatment Plant.

Council members authorized the issuance and sale of Certificates of Obligation totaling $3.4 million in November 2012 for improvements to the existing plant. The remaining funds of $8.5 million have not been issued.

The city has received multiple extensions from the Texas Water Development Board as deadlines have approached for closing on the loan. The most recent extension expires on Sept. 30, and the water development board has informed the city there will be no more extensions granted.

Declining the loan does not changer the viability of the Supplemental Water Treatment Plant project or permitting, and if the council decides to build the plant later, financing can be obtained at that time.

In other business Tuesday, council members will consider awarding a bid of just under $6.5 million to Gracon Construction of Mesquite for improvements to the existing Waste Water Treatment Plant.